call (him) back?

raymondaliasapollyon

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Is it acceptable to use "called John" in the following? Should 'tried to call John' be used instead?


I called John yesterday. But I couldn't reach him because he was away on vacation.


Let's now consider another sentence:

I called John yesterday. But I couldn't reach him. The receptionist told me he was on vacation. So I called (him) back today.

A few questions are in order. First, should 'tried to call John' be used instead of 'called John'? Second, should the pronoun 'him' in the parentheses be removed if I still failed to reach John today? Can 'him' be retained if I still failed to reach John today?

I'd appreciate your help.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Is it acceptable to use "called John" in the following?
    It is to me.

    Should 'tried to call John' be used instead?
    In that context, you explain that you couldn't talk to him in the second sentence. It's fine to use "tried" in the first sentence, but I don't think you have to do this.

    First, should 'tried to call John' be used instead of 'called John'?
    Once again, I view this as a possibility rather than a necessity.

    Second, should the pronoun 'him' in the parentheses be removed if I still failed to reach John today?
    I don't think so. In this context, "him" means "his number" to me. However, "called back" without "him" would also be fine. After all, you've already told me who you were trying to talk to. I don't need to hear any further reminders.

    Can 'him' be retained if I still failed to reach John today?
    I think so. I probably do this sort of thing myself from time to time. As far as I can remember, nobody objects when I do.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top